Template:Refname rules

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Names for footnotes and groups must follow these rules:

  • Names are case-sensitive.
  • Names must not be purely numeric; they should have semantic value so that they can be more easily distinguished from each other by human editors.
  • Names must be unique—you may not use the same name to define different groups or footnotes.
  • Please consider keeping reference names simple and restricted to the standard English alphabet and numerals. Failing that, including if spaces are used, the following technical restrictions become relevant:
    • Quotation marks are optional if the only characters used are letters A–Z, a–z, digits 0–9, and the symbols !$%&()*,-.:;<@[]^_`{|}~. That is, all printable ASCII characters except #"'/=>?\.
    • Inclusion of any other characters, including spaces, requires that the reference name be enclosed in quotes; for example, name="John Smith".
    • The quote marks must be the standard straight keyboard marks ("); curly or other quotes will be parsed as part of the reference name.
    • Quote-enclosed reference names may not include a less-than sign (<) or a double straight quote symbol ("). These may be escaped with &lt; and &quot;, respectively.
  • You may optionally provide reference names even when the reference name is not required. This makes later re-use of the sourced reference easier.
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